No matter what time of year you choose to visit Venice and the Veneto region, there is something always going on. 

From festivals celebrating specific foods, to historical re-enactments and cultural highlights, there is no reason not to celebrate when visiting such a rich and diverse part of the world.

So here is, by no means complete, a comprehensive list of the festivals and events held in the Veneto region throughout the year. 

Please let me know if there are any that I missed!

JANUARY

New Year’s Day (1st January)
Brave bathers plunge into the icy cold Venetian Lagoon in Lido to mark the beginning of a new year.

La Regata delle Befane (6th January)
Coinciding with Epiphany, competitors dress as witches, and give children stockings full of presents.

Fireworks at New Years Celebrations in Venice
New Years Celebrations in Venice

FEBRUARY

Carnevale (10 days up to Lent)
Most associated with Venice, this festival is celebrated across the region,  with extravagant pageants, concerts and balls.

Verona in Love (Week of 14th February)
A week of romance, poetry and love themed festivities in Verona, the home of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet.

People dressed up for Carnevale in Venice
People dressed up for Carnevale in Venice (Attr. Image by ducolimarco85 from Pixabay)

MARCH

Benedizione del Fuoco (Maundy Thursday – beginning of Easter)
Held in Venice, the start of Easter is marked with the “blessing of Fire”, a holy flame is lit in the darkness of the Basilica di San Marco after dusk, followed by a sombre procession lighting each candle in the church one by one.

APRIL

Su e Zo per I Ponti  (1st Sunday)
A 12km charity fun run through streets of Venice and up and down the city’s 45 bridges.

Festa di San Marco  (25th April)
Celebrating Venice’s patron saint, the festival highlight is the gondola regatta. Men cross Piazza San Marco with a rose for the sweetheart.

MAY

Primavera del Prosecco (May-June)
The Prosecco Spring Festival features wine-tastings and vineyard tours along the Strade del Prosseco from Conegliano to Valdobbiadene.

La Sensa (1st Sunday after Ascension)
A symbolic marriage ceremony between Venice and the sea, with boat races and street celebrations.

Rovigoracconta Festival (May)
A cultural festival held in Rovigo with over 100 artists, musicians and writers filling the streets of Rovigo with free cultural events and performances.

Festa della Sensa, Venice
Festa della Sensa, Venice (Photo source unknown)

JUNE

Venice Biennale (June-November)
The world’s biggest contemporary art show takes place in odd-numbered years. In even-numbered years, the city costs the Biennale d’Architettura.

Vogalona (2nd Sunday after Ascension)
Hundreds of boats partake in the 32km (20mils) “Long Row” from Palazzo Ducale to Burano and back.

Verona Opera Festival (June-September)
Every summer the huge Roman amphitheatre turns into the largest open-air opera house in the world, fitting an incredible 10,000 seats.

Opera at the Verona Amphitheatre
Opera at the Verona Amphitheatre (Photo: Jakub Hałun, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)

JULY

Festa del Redentore (third weekend of July)
A boat race, fair and fireworks to commemorate Venice’s deliverance from the plague in 1576.

Sardellata al Pal del Vo (last weekend of July)
Moonlit sardine-fishing displays take place in Pal de Vo, Lake Garda, then the catch is enjoyed on the lakeshore, accompanied by fireworks and festivities.

AUGUST

Festa del Pesce at Maerne di Martellago (4th – 20th August)
A festival of seafood and traditional Venetian recipes that have been handed down for generations, all with the backdrop of live music and dancing.

Glass making in Murano, Venice
Glass making in Murano, Venice

SEPTEMBER

Venice Film Festival (1st week of September)
One of the world’s most important celebrations of cinema, drawing an array of film stars and paparazzi to Venice’s Lido.

Regata Storica (1st Sunday)
Venice’s favourite regatta, and the most important Venetian rowing competition, recalls the arrival of the Queen of Cyprus in 1489, with a costumed pageant on the Grand Canal.

Venice Glass Week (2nd week)
An international festival dedicated to glass art. Displays, demonstrations, and celebrations of all things glass in Venice, Murano and Mestre.

Palio dei 10 Comuni – Montagnana (3-5 September)
A historic horse race dating back to 1366 with 10 jockeys representing the ten municipalities of Montagnese race each other. A historical parade and markets

Made in Malga – Asiago (first 2 weekends of September)
Festival celebrating Alpine cheese and produce is held in Vicenza. Shops, wine bars and hotels host tastings of alpine cheese, local wines and craft beers alongside live music and festivities.

Gioastra della Rocca (second and third weekends of September)
A historical re-enactment festival in Monselice. The nine districts of Monselice compete again each other in Medieval themed events, such as chess games, tambourine challenges, archery, relays and races. Along with markets, tastings, shows and fireworks.

Co i Piè Descalsi (5 days in September)
Five days of shows, music, art, food and more. Includes concerts, streets performances and theatrical shows, dancing, clowneries, acrobatics, juggling ad magic shows.

Palio dei 10 comuni in Montagnana
Palio dei 10 comuni in Montagnana (Photo: https://www.turismoitinerante.com/site/montagnana-palio-dieci-comuni/)

OCTOBER

Feast of the Must (1st weekend)
Festivities celebrating the completion of the harvest in Sant’Erasmo, with barefoot dancers pressing grapes the traditional way.

Venice Marathon (last Sunday)
Eight thousand runners take to the streets for the city’s annual international marathon.

Grape & Bardolino Wine Festival (early October)
A five day festival in the historic centre of Bardolino with music, shows and local wine from Lake Garda.

Rice Fair (September – October)
Every year the Rice Fair is held in Isola della Scala, bringing chefs from all over Italy along with Risotto Masters (Maestri Risottari) to cook traditional risotto recipes. Along with plenty of rice, there are historical parades, sports activities, cabaret shows, concerts and markets.

Vintage Toy Fair (April & October)
Geld every six months in VeronaFiere is the Vintage Toys Fair. The perfect place for adults and children to swap, sell and share toys, stories, and passion for toys of all types from the 1800s to 1960s.

The Venice maranthon through the aqua alta
Sunshine or high tide, the Venice Maranthon must be run (Photo: Flickr Roberto Trombetta)

NOVEMBER

Festa della Salute (21st  November)
A votive bridge is erected across the Grand Canal so that people can cross to extol La Madonna della Salute for deliverance from the 1631 plague.

DECEMBER

Mercatini di Natale (6th December)
The city of Venice’s Christmas lights are illuminated, Campo San Polo becomes an ice rink and squares and palazzos host Christmas markets.

Regata dei Babbi Natali (Sunday mid-month)
Rowers dress as Santa Clause and compete on the Grand Canal before taking part in a water parade featuring Santa and his elves.

Rowers dressed as Santa Claus in the Regata dei Babbi Natali, Venice
Rowers dressed as Santa Claus in the Regata dei Babbi Natali, Venice (Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cafoscari/23258015574/in/photostream/)

 

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A year of festivals and events in Venice & Veneto

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